Editors’ Note: July 30, 2014
The Inside Art column on July 25, about a planned exhibition of the works of the Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo, started with a description of the artist’s life and eccentricities. That passage improperly used specific language and details from a Wikipedia article without attribution; it should not have been published in that form. (Editors learned of the problem after publication from a post on FishbowlNY.)
The New York Times is making some changes to its Dining section — specifically, it is being renamed “Food” and will be edited by Sam Sifton. Food staffers will also be combined with staffers working on the NYT Cooking site and (yet to be released) app.
Assisting Sifton will be Susan Edgerley, serving as the Food section’s deputy editor.
“The Times has long been a leader in covering all aspects of food and dining,” wrote Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times, in the memo announcing the news. “The launch of the new Cooking app, along with combining the newsroom’s editing and reporting talent in one team under the direction of Sam and with Susan’s editorial and managerial help, will enhance our coverage and make it even more delightful and useful for readers.”
You can read Baquet’s full note below.
According to The American Society of News Editors’ annual census, newspapers are more diverse despite losing three percent of newsroom staff.
Overall, there were about 36,700 full-time journalists employed at roughly 1,400 papers in 2013. That’s represents a 1,300-person decline, from 38,000 in 2012. Of those journalists, about 4,900 (13 percent) are racial and ethnic minorities. That’s a 200-person increase from 2012.
“Producing the employment census each year is a significant effort on the part of ASNE, but as the leaders of America’s newsrooms, we feel it’s essential to keep this data front and center,” said ASNE President David Boardman, in a statement. ”We remain committed to doing all we can to help our newsrooms, and our news reports, better reflect the diverse nature of the communities we cover.”
As usual, the New York Times’ earnings report features both good and bad news (we suppose that pun is intended). While the Times’ digital subscriptions continued to grow, the lack of print ad dollars weighed the paper down. The end result was a 21 percent drop in profits during the second quarter.
The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers during the second quarter, bringing its total to 831,000 — a number that should make staffers proud. Still, total revenue dropped by 0.6 percent, mainly due to a four percent decline in ad revenue. Net income also declined from $20 million in 2013′s second quarter, to just $9 million this quarter.
“We saw continued growth in digital advertising and circulation revenues during the quarter,” Mark Thompson, CEO of the Times Company, said in a statement. “But know that we still have more work to do to transform our business and deliver long-term sustainable revenue growth for the company.”
Michael Wolff has an interesting take on who/what should buy CNN should it ever be up for sale: The New York Times. Well, Wolff wrote that the “most obvious buyer is CBS,” but his runner-up is the Gray Lady.
Before you laugh this off, it’s actually an interesting idea. Wolff says the partnership would benefit both brands. The Times would gain the much needed ad dollars that come with TV. Meanwhile, CNN will finally be seen as a respectable news company if it has to maintain the standards set by the Times.
“In that combination, news, increasingly devolving from platform specificity, takes a major leap forward by creating a quality news company widely distributing its product through all outlets,” explained Wolff. “Television can’t do quality news, but it has great profits. Print still has high news standards, but ever-dwindling profits — so voila!”
Voila! Now let’s make this happen.
Talk about a buzz kill, brother bear. Over the weekend, The New York Times declared that it supported the complete decriminalization of marijuana, and yet, it won’t let employees share a bong in the newsroom.
A Times spokesperson told The Huffington Post that potential employees will still be required to pass a drug test before getting hired. “Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law,” said the spokesperson. “We aren’t going to get into details beyond that.”
In a series of editorials, the Times said that pot should be legalized — just like tobacco and alcohol — and states should be responsible for making the call:
There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.
In the marijuana world, today’s date could become a three-digit rallying cry almost as seminal as the San Rafael, California-coined slang ”420.”
For it is in the 7-27 Sunday print edition that the New York Times editorial board has officially come out in favor of the nationwide legalization of marijuana:
In coming days, we will publish articles by members of the editorial board and supplementary material that will examine these questions. We invite readers to offer their ideas, and we will report back on their responses, pro and con.
We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.
Kevin Sablan (pictured), one of the Orange County Register journalists who recently took a buyout, has blogged today about how that decision was reached. He devotes a great deal of his post to what were, for him, the better Register days:
During my first eight years at the paper, I worked on advancing our digital efforts. I started as a slightly glorified Web monkey, part of a team that got stories online and made sure the site’s many moving parts were updated throughout the day.
During the last weekend of June, the New York Times Magazine asked: “What’s the Matter With Eastern Kentucky?” Today, via an op-ed in The Floyd County Times, Jonathan Gay answers with the equivalent of: “Less than you think.”
Gay is the director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office in Morehead, where he works with local entrepreneurs. He
argues that the piece by Annie Lowrey was a classic case of big-city myopia and explains how he, pro-actively, is moving forward:
Rather than wait on the New York Times to tell that [hopeful] story, we’ve decided to start telling it ourselves. Through words, photos, tweets, social media and video, we will soon be launching a Web effort to tell the tales of entrepreneurs living in eastern Kentucky. We’ll begin with one each from the six eastern Kentucky counties the Times reported as being in the bottom 10.
The New York Daily News has had it with Mayor de Blasio. The paper — along with Liam Neeson — desperately (and sort of weirdly) wants the mayor to allow the carriage horses to continue their work in Central Park. De Blasio, meanwhile, wants to replace them with electric cars.
To prove how many people care about the horses, the Daily News dropped 40,000 signed petitions at the mayor’s office. When de Blasio sent an aide to pick them up instead of doing so himself, the staff at the Daily News lost their minds. The result? Today’s front page.
Hey, at least they called him “Mr. Mayor.” Could have been worse.
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